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The MAP News
298th Edition Sept 29, 2012
Sweden well ahead of the World on reducing shrimp consumption – See Why
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Special report Blood fish: why prawns should be blacklisted from all our shopping baskets
A new investigation has revealed appalling labour conditions for Burmese migrants working onboard boats supplying 'trash fish' for use in feed given to farmed prawns. But this is just the latest scandal to engulf the global shrimp industry, says Andrew Wasley. A disturbing new investigation by the Ecologist has shone a light on the appalling labour conditions experienced by some Burmese migrants working onboard Thai fishing boats. The investigation – carried out by the Ecologist Film Unit in conjunction with Link TV and SwedWatch – has linked the problem to boats supplying so-called 'trash fish' for use in the manufacture of fish feed given to farmed prawns – or shrimp – that are cultivated in Thailand before being exported and consumed by diners across the world. The findings are just the latest in a series of disturbing exposes highlighting the unsavoury nature of the global shrimp industry, which continues to re-brand itself as 'sustainable' and 'ethical'. READ MORE
Kuki Groups Opposes Tiger Reserve in Karbi Anglong
INDIA - The Kuki National Assembly, an association of Kukis, today asked the Karbi Anglong autonomous council not to go forward with the proposed tiger reserve spread over 1,650 square km area in eastern and central Karbi Anglong, as it might disrupt the livelihood of 50,000 people. The meeting took place near Karbi Anglong district headquarters Diphu. “Most of the areas which the forest department wants to include in the tiger reserve and for eco-tourism projects is nothing but the agriculture belt of Kukis living in the foothills of Singhason hill. If the tiger reserve is set up there, at least 50,000 poor Kuki people will have to leave their agricultural work, which is the main source of their livelihood,” said KNA general secretary Tongthang Touthang. READ MORE
Editor’s note: This article demonstrates once again that Western society seldom considers the true cost of their favorite seafood. This minimum wage hike would mean workers would receive Bt300 or approximately $10 per day.
Shrimp exporters want govt to reconsider minimum wage hike
THAILAND - Shrimp producers want the government to revise the policy to raise the minimum wage and help with outsourcing, penetrating new markets and eliminating non-tariff barriers. They also want the government to promote value-added development to ensure rising exports for the industry. A report from the Thai Trade Offices in North America, Europe and Latin America showed that Thailand is losing market share and export competitiveness to Vietnam due to that country's lower shrimp prices. Vietnamese shrimp is cheaper by 20-30 per cent. Amid the global economic slowdown and euro crisis, consumers are spending their money carefully and choosing cheaper goods from Vietnam, the report said. In the first seven months of this year. Thai shrimp exports dropped by 10 per cent to US$1.6 billion (Bt49.25 billion). The Commerce Ministry recently cut the growth target for shrimp exports this year to only 5 per cent from the earlier projection of 13 per cent to $3.25 billion. Kanokknang Pongsathaporn, senior marketing manager of Golden Sea Frozen Foods Co, said last week that the increase in the minimum daily wage to Bt300 and the shrimp price subsidy have pushed up production costs. READ MORE
Vietnam shrimp exports on track to meet goal
VIETNAM - Shrimp exports are expected to reach the US$2.5 billion goal set for the year despite the ongoing challenges facing exporters, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). Solid supplies and increased demand were putting the industry on track to meet its target, although shrimp export value would have to continue on a pace to total US$800 million in the last quarter of the year, VASEP said. In the third quarter, shrimp exports surged 19 per cent over the same period last year to $690 million, bringing total export value in the first nine months to $1.7 billion. Obstacles to reaching the goal include a slowdown in demand on the European market and difficulty complying with strict food safety requirements being imposed by Japan. Japan is applying a maximum ethoxyquin residue limit of 0.01ppm for Vietnamese shrimp, a low rate for local shrimp breeders. READ MORE
Early Mortality Syndrome Threatens Asia’s Shrimp Farms
CHINA - The emerging disease early mortality syndrome (EMS) has caused large losses among shrimp farmers in China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. Causing mass mortalities, its spread points to the need for increased awareness and cooperative reporting, writes Eduardo M. Leaño, Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific region, the top producer of aquaculture products in the world, is continuously beset by emerging aquatic animal disease problems that can cause high mortalities and economic losses among small farmers as well as commercial producers. Over the last couple of decades, diseases such as white spot syndrome, yellowhead disease and Taura syndrome heavily impacted shrimp aquaculture in the region and caused the collapse of the Penaeus monodon industry. READ MORE
Japan Refuses to Buy ‘Toxic’ Shrimp from Odisha State
INDIA - Shrimp farmers in the Indian state of Odisha are worried as Japan has stopped buying their shrimp following the detection of ethoxiquin, a quinoline-based antioxidant used as a preservative and a pesticide, in shrimp exports to the country "Odisha has been affected badly as around 60 per cent of our shrimp is exported to Japan," said G Mohanty, president of Odisha Seafood Exporters Association. Exporters are not procuring more shrimps from farmers as they already have heavy stocks. As a result, shrimp farmers are forced to sell their produce to the middlemen of Andhra Pradesh. Seafood exporters in the neighbouring state are exporting the shrimp to US and European countries in larger quantities, sources said. In the face of heavy losses, small and middle category shrimp producers are unlikely to take up prawn culture next year, reports TheTimesofIndia. "Not only seafood exporters, but shrimp farmers in the state will also be badly affected if the situation persists for a few more months," said A Chandra Sekhar Rao, a shrimp producer in Ganjam district. READ MORE
Ecuador's bold idea now as endangered as Eden's wildlife
ECUADOR - A plan to preserve the most biodiverse region on earth from oil exploitation is foundering as enthusiasm cools. Ecuador is the only country to have recognised the rights of nature in its constitution. After the discovery of a $7.2 billion oil reserve inside a pristine corner of the Yasuni National Park, the government has proposed leaving the fossil fuel in the ground if other countries will give them half that amount. It has been hailed as an alternative to the ineffectual efforts of the United Nations to deal with climate change and biodiversity loss. The ITT Initiative, as the project is known, promises to the keep carbon in the ground in a 200,000-hectare corner of the park and, in the process, help to redistribute wealth from rich nations to the developing world and wildlife. ''This was a revolutionary idea. With a logic that I would call perfect: it implied a substantial change in the management of natural resources in the fight against climate change. It meant a transfer of resources from the richest countries - which are the biggest polluters - to poorer countries,'' he said. ''But what has happened since has been the opposite: because the US, UK and others can consume the assets generated by the Amazon jungle for free, they have committed absolutely nothing. The Yasuni ITT Initiative has raised a lot less than expected.'' READ MORE
Editor's Note: This letter was sent by Sr. Varela to his government in Honduras protesting illicit shrimp farm expansion along public coastal lands in Honduras; it is posted in its entirety on our blog
BETRAYAL OF SOVEREIGNTY IN HONDURAS
HONDURAS - For more than a decade Messrs. shrimp aquaculturists in the Gulf of Fonseca pressed the government of Honduras to pass a law allowing them to legalize and treat as private property the lands that belonged to the government of Honduras, allowing them to rent concessions. A large section of civil society has opposed such intentions, considering that this is more an act of plunder, which actually takes place at the expense of the national treasury, allowing certain "aquaculturists" land speculation before the stimulus production, and without generating any compensation for the state in financial transactions that occur. Thus shrimpers have sold, mortgaged, and transferred under any title or concessions received condition. This lucrative speculation in "real estate" has stimulated the expansion of shrimp farming, and led to the destruction of mangroves, lagoons, mudflats and all kinds of wetland ecosystems in violation of the agreement in 1999 regarding the "Ramsar Site # 1000" and the declaration Protected Areas of the South in 2000. READ MORE
Letter to NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS regarding International Day of Struggle against Monoculture Tree Plantations
URAGUAY - Humankind faces an environmental, economic, and climate crisis that poses a threat to its survival. Destruction of ecosystems endangers not only communities that directly depend on them, but also the planet as a whole. Power centres have not questioned the production and consumption imperatives that are responsible. Instead, they are promoting false solutions that allow the same actors that created the crisis to continue accumulating wealth while the majority of the world’s population sees their living standards deteriorate. Today we are witnessing the confluence of two processes: incorporation of new aspects of life into the market economy and financialization of the economy itself, including speculation in new 'green' commodities. Capitalist societies have always appropriated human and nonhuman nature. Today a range of radically new products are being developed for sale: carbon, biodiversity, water and so on. At the same time, speculative financial markets have gained increasing power over the rest of economy and of life, in a response to the capitalist crisis that began in the 1970s. Enter the Green Economy, encouraged by the United Nations and rationalized by the claim that the only way to assure that nature is conserved is to price it. As fresh objects of commerce and speculation, so-called 'ecosystem service' commodities are recruited as saviours of an economy that remains centred on plunder and exploitation. READ MORE
MAP Updates Wikipedia to include info on Mangrove Restoration
USA – MAP restoration experts, supporters and members of Board of Directors have worked to update the Wikipedia information regarding mangrove restoration. Wikipedia is considered by many to be the first place interested parties will search out when looking for reliable internet information. The article clarifies some of the misconceptions about replanting which have led to failure in the past. “Mangrove restoration is the regeneration of mangrove forest ecosystems in areas where they have previously existed. The practice of mangrove restoration is grounded in the discipline of restoration ecology, which aims to “[assist] the recovery of resilience and adaptive capacity of ecosystems that have been degraded, damaged, or destroyed” . Since environmental impacts are an ongoing threat, to successfully restore an ecosystem implies not merely to recreate its former condition, but to strengthen its capacity to adapt to change over time” the article begins. READ MORE
Charting a Path to Ocean Prosperity
COOK ISLANDS - A career in conservation can be alternately trying, rewarding and energizing, as we work with leaders and communities to innovate sustainable solutions that will balance the pace of economic development with the capacity of the planet and needs of a growing human population. I can honestly say that in my 40 years of doing this work, which I know is absolutely essential to safeguard our families' future, never before have I seen such cause for hope and partnership as I recently did during a week in the Cook Islands. Attending the 43rd annual Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, I had a front row seat to what can only be described as a sea change in ocean management and stewardship, from leaders whom most Americans would likely be hard-pressed to name: President Anote Tong of the Republic of Kiribati, Prime Minister Henry Puna of the Cook Islands, and President Harold Martin of New Caledonia, to name a few. Among them was special guest Secretary Hillary Clinton, representing the United States' renewed interest in the Pacific region as a pillar of economic, cultural, regional and food security. READ MORE
For the Future of Mangrove Conservation
“Nature Classroom – Forest, Water and Us” is a partnership project between the local environmental based NGO, Water Watch Penang (WWP) and international organisation, UNEP Eco-Peace Leadership Centre (UNEP-EPLC). This project is aimed at educating the general public particularly the young generation on the importance of conserving our remaining wildlife and natural habitats. For this reason, educational field trips and on-site environmental activities are conducted for school children at the mangrove wetland of Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia. The love for nature and caring for environment will be nurtured among the participants by discovering themselves the interesting biodiversity of mangrove forests. The project has come to a milestone in June 2012 when the exhibition centre for showcasing the mangrove ecosystems was set up with the help of volunteers, local people and student participants. We are moving forward with great hope that the mangrove conservation will be positively developed for a sustainable future in this beautiful Balik Pulau.
Wong Yun Yun (Ms.)
Project Manager of
“Nature Classroom – Forest, Water and Us”
Water Watch Penang (WWP)
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|Mangrove Action Project|
Saturday, September 29, 2012
MAP News Issue 298 - Sept 29, 2012
Posted by BlogAdmin at 11:20 AM